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World rally teams ship out to New Zealand

29 March 2004

World rally teams ship out to New Zealand

The massive transport exercise is underway as teams freight cars and equipment for next month’s Propecia Rally New Zealand, the fourth round of the FIA World Rally Championship.

While the WRC teams fly in race cars from their European bases, Rally New Zealand organisers have confirmed that the ship has left Panama with more than 40 container equivalent of equipment this week.

Rally New Zealand director Chris Carr has worked closely with White Knight International Motorsport Logistics to ensure that the crucial equipment was transhipped in Panama after the third round of the WRC in Mexico earlier this month.

The Nexoe Maersk left Panama this week with all the team containers, including key equipment and reconnaissance cars for the New Zealand round from 15-18 April.

``This is just the equipment for the WRC Teams on board. Then there are all the production World Rally Championship competitors and a number of other internationals all organising their cars and equipment to New Zealand,’’ Mr Carr said.

``Many believed it would be too difficult to organise a shipment from the Mexico round to get to New Zealand. In fact one team did not want to take the risk and have flown out a separate set of equipment for Rally New Zealand.

``Most rally organisers don’t get involved, but it’s all part of the package as far as we are concerned, and I’m certainly pleased to know that it’s all on the water now.’’

WRC Teams budget approximately $70 million on their annual campaign, an average of $5 million for each round of the championship, with a significant amount spent in the host countries along with transport and team costs.
``It is a massive exercise. This has taken months of careful planning and hard work by a number of people. Many do not realise what it takes to host a round of the world championship in New Zealand – with virtually all of it done by volunteers.’’

The Nexoe Maersk is due in Auckland on 6 April.

The Propecia-sponsored event starts with two super special stages at Manukau City on the evening of Thursday 15 April. The first full day on Friday is in the Kaipara region before returning for two further super special stages at Manukau City. Saturday’s racing returns to Kaipara, with the last day in the Waikato region near Raglan. The final stage will be the internationally acclaimed Whaanga Coast, with the ceremonial finish in downtown Auckland city on Sunday afternoon.


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